The magic that happens when you combine design disciplines with Something More Design
As designer’s in our respective fields we tend to focus on our disciplines and become really good at what we do…which means we sometimes forget to look outwards to gain new perspectives and to see what designer’s from other design industries are up to.
Something More Design is a studio run by Olivia Chapman and Keeley Baird that sees the successful and seamless blending of two design disciplines—graphic and interior design. Chapman and Baird turned their love of design into a practice that assists other brands to tell their stories cohesively across all touch points.
Olivia and Keeley turned their love of design into a practice that helps other businesses tell their stories cohesively across all touch points. We recently chatted to Olivia about this unusual collaboration to gain a deeper insight into Something More Design.
Tell us about your personal journeys and how you two came to start up Something More Design.
I was into arts and crafts when I was younger and as I got older I knew it was something that I wanted to turn into a career and this led me to complete my bachelor of Visual Communications degree after high school. After my degree I worked in a number of design agencies up and down the coast but found that the traditional agency format wasn’t for me.
Branding was my passion and I worked for a while as a freelancer but found myself working on tasks that crossed over into interior design. It was great but I noticed a bit of a disconnect between the two, I consider your physical space to be an extension of your brand image so I came up with the idea to open a creative studio that combined the two covering all aspects of your brand from logo right up to your shop front.
I then searched around for awhile on social media to find an interior designer that was at a similar stage in their career as me and of course matched my style, I came across Keeley and sent her a message.
Keeley’s family had always been involved in the industry which meant that she knew this was something she wanted to do from a young age. Having finished her diploma in interior design, she began working for herself on a few residential projects—which was when I approached her—she was drawn to the idea of combining design and interior practices and this was something she wanted to explore. Everything just went from there!
How has Something More Design evolved from your initial concepts and thoughts for it?
We haven’t really moved far from our initial concepts for the business. We’ve refined our processes and tweaked the way we do things but our foundations have been really strong from the start and we found that what we set out to do worked really well.
Seeing a graphic designer and interior designer pair up in a studio is fairly uncommon, what kind of advantage do you think it gives the both of you?
Oh more than we ever thought, both of us had experienced the crossovers in what clients expected from us while working for ourselves. With Keeley often being asked if she could contribute to things like signage and more graphic design related items and at the the same I was being asked to make suggestions on things like wall colours. We both thought it would be a good idea to have someone to pass those tasks onto when we first started. But it had evolved into so much more than just that.
Being able to work together from the very beginning stages of a brand has helped us both so much. Working together has meant that Keeley was able to gain insights from things like brand strategy which helps her make design decisions that wouldn’t normally be considered in the interior design industry. While I’ve been able to consult her about what will work in a physical space, this helps us ensure that the look and feel of a brand will flow smoothly across all aspects.
Beyond that, it’s been great to be able to see things from another creative’s perspective. You aren’t always able to see from different perspectives because you’re so focused on the one. Having a fresh set of eyes can make you see things you wouldn’t normally see.
How do clients normally approach you? Are they typically, initially, looking for either graphic or interior design?
We do offer our services individually, if someone approaches us for either graphic design or interior design and doesn’t require the other, we are more than happy to accommodate. We do find we get quite an even mix and if someone comes to us for one service, they usually end up realising they actually need both.
The most common example of this is when a client approaches us for interior design because they want to refresh their space. We often ask if their new space needs to align with the current branding which makes them realise they most likely need to update that as well.
We also find that when clients are opening a new business it is a lot easier for them to just be contacting one business for everything than having to align multiple people and trying to make things cohesive themselves.
How do your different skills sets influence and possibly enhance the solutions you achieve? Can you tell us about any projects in which unexpected results/directions occurred due to the input of the ‘other’ design discipline?
This happens all the time in the day-to-day bouncing ideas off each other and having a different perspective but the major example of this would have to be the brand strategy.
We do a brand strategy meeting with all our clients before we start any design project, this takes a deep look into their business—why they exist, their goals, values, their target audience and lots more which isn’t generally common practice in the interior design industry especially to this depth. Having this type of knowledge helps us make informed design decisions that attract their audience and align with their goals.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
We have so many amazing projects on the go at the moment, we can’t wait to see them all come to life. We are also super excited to be expanding our team in 2021!